Filipino, German students exchange program kicks offBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines and Germany have embarked on a pioneering student exchange program to give their students invaluable cross-cultural exposure while pursuing their studies.
The Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences, a German university with a long tradition of international partnerships, started the student exchange program with Silliman University in Dumaguete City, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
The first group of Ingolstadt students would spend the winter semester of school year 2012-2013 in Silliman, the DFA said.
Under the agreement, German students will spend a semester at Silliman and Filipino students will study for a semester at Ingolstadt.
“The German students will attend full credit courses at the College of Business Administration and the College of Computer Studies in the second semester of this school year,” the DFA said.
Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe Natividad said, “This student exchange signals closer cooperation in the field of education.”
Natividad met recently with Ingolstadt professor Axel Bader, student exchange program director, to discuss education cooperation between the Philippines and Germany and finalize required documents of visiting students.
She briefed Bader on the Department of Education’s Kindergarten to Year 12 (K to 12) program, the administration’s flagship education program that aims to produce highly qualified high school graduates by adding two years to the basic education cycle, which is currently 10 years.
The K to 12 program, which is being implemented in phases, has gained support in the international community, including Germany.
The German government is also supporting the introduction of a basic German language course in Philippine high schools to build a base of qualified Filipino employees who can speak the European language.
Natividad and Bader talked about expanding the partnership to include apprenticeship exchange, with German and Filipino students going on internships in host universities in the two countries.
Bader, a professor of external accounting and international taxation at Ingolstadt, said the Philippines was an “interesting destination for business students” as the country was an emerging market.